2019 – VR MOVES UP A GEAR
Right in the middle of a real communication medium for NGOs to draw attention to their involvement and work in Africa, VR has also made its entry as a journalistic medium in its own right, mixing with subtlety sounds and images from archives, drawings and documentary recordings.
Accused#2: walter Sisulu | 14′
Production: ARTE and La Générale de Production, A mix of animations and archival images evoke the key moments of the Rivonia trial (1963-1964) at the end of which Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and six co-accused were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Just Food: Coping with the Crisis | 6′
Just Food: Coping With The Crisis is an immersive film by Contrast VR, that sheds light on the people impacted by the widespread food insecurity crisis. Uncertain of whether they can return to their homes, hundreds of thousands of families live suspended lives in IDP camps and host communities, all the while struggling to feed their families. Through the stories of three displaced women who live in different IDP camps, we examine the situations they face and how in spite of hardship, they find ways to put food on the table for their children.
Refugees Revive Italian Village | 2′
Abandoned by locals, adopted by refugees.
Take a 360 tour of the Italian village being brought back to life by welcoming refugees.
Undocumented and Squatting in Amsterdam | 2’
In Amsterdam, a collective of rejected asylum seekers are forced to squat in different abandoned buildings. This Sudanese national has been doing it for the past 16 years.
Aljazeera – Contrast VR productions
Since 2017, “My people, our stories” has been portraying Africans with remarkable trajectories.
Leaving Gangs Behind in South Sudan: My People, Our Stories | 2’
In South Sudan, around 70 percent of people are under the age of 30. Youth unemployment is as high as 40 percent. Alex, 21, had joined a gang for lack of better opportunities, robbing and stealing in order to survive. Now, he focuses on creating music and encourages others to pursue their passions by organizing groups for music, dancing and sports.
Living with disability | 2′
Kim Bany lost his leg in a civil war, but found strength in basketball and wants to empower other people with disabilities in South Sudan. This is the first 360 video by South Sudanese journalists Maura Ajak and Ray Okech, as part of “My People, Our Stories” initiative. Every Thursday for the next month, stories filmed by journalists on the ground will open a window into everyday life in Juba, South Sudan.
We Shall Have Peace: A VR Documentary in South Sudan | 8′
The film mixes audiovisual archives and 360° recordings to testify to 50 years of civil war in Southern Sudan, which became independent in 2011.
No clean water | 2’
“I carry water from the Nile River in a jerry can on my head. Every time, after I carry five or six jerry cans, I feel like my chest will split open.“” Suzy Jada shows us the difficulty in accessing clean water in South Sudan, which has been embroiled in civil conflict for the last five years. 45% of South Sudan can’t access safe drinking water.
This is the first 360 video by South Sudanese journalists Doris Kade and Rose Keji, as part of “My People, Our Stories” initiative.
Tea seller | 2’
Everywhere you go in Juba, you can see a woman nearby selling tea. With the country in turmoil, women have often become their family’s sole breadwinners.
This is the first 360 video by South Sudanese journalists Lucia Baptist and Denis Mimbugbe as part of the latest “My People, Our Stories” initiative in Juba, South Sudan.
Working for education | 2’
in South Sudan, around 70 percent of children are out of school, many of whom are involved in child labour. In order to support their families, many children who manage to go to school also work outside of school hours. Al Amine, 13 years old, works at a garage and studies at the same time.
This is the first 360 video by South Sudanese journalists Rita Lado and Cosmas Mundu, as part of the latest “My People, Our Stories” initiative in Juba, South Sudan.
In the documentary field, VR is on the rise thanks to its immersive power. In addition to international organizations, journalists or collectives are taking up the field and proposing a new reading that shows a strong, young and fighting Africa.
In 2017, the Qatari channel launched a programme dedicated to VR documentaries. The films reveal difficult situations and highlight the committed solutions and the incredible vitality of the African continent.
The Disappearing Oasis | 2018 | 6′
Halim Sbai organizes every year the planting of palm trees to save the Moroccan oasis M’hamid from slow desertification.
Oil in Our Creeks | 2018 | 8′
Lessi Phillips was only 16 years old when the oil spill radically changed the life of her community. The film shows two realities, one filmed, the other drawn.
Bangui’s Makongo | 2017 | 2′
The caterpillars, called “Makongo” are considered a delicacy in Central Africa.
This collective, composed of creative people from the major traditional media, aims to be educational but never boring.
What the West ignores of the African middle class | 2016 | 6′
Immersion in the middle class in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to change our perception of Africa.
In recent years, international organizations and NGOs have been using the power of VR to generate interest in their cause.
House without windows | 2017 | 14′
Combining drawings, photos and 360° video, this creation immerses us in the lives of children affected by the crisis in the Central African Republic. This work is supported by the Fondation Hirondelle and RadioNdeke Luka.
In a completely different style, this fiction and animal documentary take us to the heart of the continent for a total change of scenery.
Nairobi Berries | 2017 | 7′
Kenya’s first VR fiction film directed, shot and animated by Ng’endo Mukii Mukii Mukii.
Exodus: The Great Migration | 2017 | 8′
The documentary immerses us in the great annual migration of wildebeests, gazelles and zebras across the plains of Maasai Mara and Serengeti.
At the crossroads of film, visual art and video games, “Virtual reality” gives the viewer another way of seeing and looking, without any pre-established framing. This new medium is also that of a young generation of creators who are leading us to discover an urban, creative, contemporary and interconnected Africa.
Several VR short films are presented this year, in continuity in the Tell Chapel, including “Spirit Robot” by Jonathan Dotse, a young Ghanaian science fiction author and host of the Afrocyberpunk website.
Dotse takes the spectator in small shots in the middle of a street arts festival in Accra and signs here a dive free of any framing in the West African cultural bubbling. Dotse sees
in this technology, accessible by mobile phone, a tremendous opportunity for cultural expression.
In a different vein, the Kenyan collective “The Nest Collective” presents “Let This Be A Warning! ». This is the story of a group of Africans that left the earth to create a colony until an intruder arrived. You are the intruder!
A brutal immersion in the no less brutal history of the continent.
Senegalese stylist Selly Raby Kane recounts an imaginary adventure in “The Other Dakar“. Following in the footsteps of a little girl, the spectator discovers a strange Dakar, between the underground artistic installation and the traditional African tale. The strength
immersive of the VR works magically.
Finally, the documentary, “We Who Remain“, the result of an alliance between Sudanese journalists in the field and a team specialized in VR, immerses us in the life of a journalist, a student, a mother of a family
and a rebel soldier in an active war zone in Southern Sudan. A poignant document that was produced in collaboration with The New York Times in March 2017.
One of the strengths of the VR, apart from immersing the spectator in a different reality, is to allow total freedom of gaze. Without the director’s intention and framing, the film VR lets you see more than it shows.